I decided to allow ads on one site today

I decided to allow ads on one site today. I use the Ghostery and AddBlock Plus Firefox addons to block not just ads but trackers, social media, etc. Basically everything.

But today I felt sympathy for Slashdot.org. I have read the site for many years and I like them. I like the community on there and the discussions. I kind of feel like they are family in a way. Maybe a slightly dysfunctional, weird family that argues at times, but nonetheless a family. So, wanting to help them, I thought “Why not disable ad-blocking on their site?” just to see what it was like to actually view ads.

I am not opposed to ads. I guess for me it has been to a considerable extent an ergonomic issue. Pages load faster and it is easier to focus on desired content without ads. Also there is less display space used for ads and hence more available for desired content.

But then, I also do appreciate the ad industry and that people want to promote products or services for their companies and organizations. That is business, the economy.

On the other side of this, with respect to the consideration of unblocking ads, one thing I think of though is not wanting to support the oligarchy – that means not wanting to support companies that are part of the oligarchy and already are making too much money and ripping off too many Americans.

So I’m not entirely sure on what other sites I would eventually choose to allow ads, but I don’t think I would for sites that are run by the huge media conglomerates which fuckover the population and deliberately distort the news in order to control the masses.

Always have backup wifi tethering available

Many people may not know, but one major aspect of Net Neutrality which is now law in the United States is that the data service you pay for as part of your mobile plan is not allowed to be restricted to just your phone. By law, you can tether any device(s) you want through your phone’s data connection. In case you don’t know what that means, it means connecting a laptop, home computer, tablet, or any other device to the Internet through your phone.

The basic principle behind this is that data is data. If you pay for say 4GB/month then you get it, regardless of what device the traffic initiated from or is destined to.

This may seem ridiculously obvious, but it wasn’t to most if not all major carriers in the United States which connived and tried to bill customers for tethering, with their multi-million-if-not-billion-dollar lobby with the federal (and state and even local) government.

Anyhow, the point of this post is that you never know when you are going to need to use the data on your mobile plan. Obviously if you’re traveling you might want to use it. In fact when traveling I prefer it over using a potentially insecure hotel or other network. I have MetroPCS (now part of T-Mobile) and for $50/month I have an unlimited voice + 4GB data plan which is usually way more than sufficient for my needs.

But there may be times when you also need it at home. For example today there’s a service outage with my broadband provider. No problem – just switch on mobile hotspot on my Android phone and here I am!

Its worthwhile to set up the mobile hotspot/tethering feature of your phone. I actually have met people who pay additional money for a separate data plan because they didn’t understand that they can tether devices through their mobile plan and use the data.

Create BASH aliases to make searching through code easier

I am one of those people who frequently consults my previous code for working examples when writing new code. The basic tool for doing this is grep. For example, if you have a bunch of code in say /home/me/code and want to find an example of DecimalFormat, you could do something like:

grep -r DecimalFormat /home/me/code |less

But the thing is, for my classes I’m taking I tend to have code mixed with a lot of other files. When I grep recursively through the directories I generally don’t want to match with files that are not code. I only want to search through .java source code files.

You can do a more advanced grep such as this:

grep -r --include "*.java" DecimalFormat /home/me/edu/java_course/

But this is a lot of typing. It would be nice if you could just have one succinct command that would do everything, and all you have to do is supply as an argument the string you are searching for. For example:

jgrep DecimalFormat

This is actually really easy to do with a BASH function. Here’s how:

Put something like the code below in your ~/.bashrc In this example I added an option for color and the output is piped to the less command so that it can be easily scrolled:

jgrep_func ()
{
grep -r --color=always --include "*.java" "$@" ~/edu/java_course/ |less;
}

alias jgrep='jgrep_func'

Here’s another example for SQL code:

sqgrep_func ()
{
grep -r --color=always --include "*.sql" "$@" ~/edu/sql_course/ |less;
}

alias sqgrep='sqgrep_func'

Remember to source your .bashrc:

. ~/.bashrc

Now you’re good to go.

Play AC3 audio encoded videos with MX Player/Android

MX Player is the best video player for Android. However you may have seen a message popup when attempting to play a video that the AC3 audio codec is not supported.

Fortunately the solution is easy:

1. Open MX Player and go into the settings (the three vertical dots at the upper-right) and select Help -> About.

Look at the top where it says Version and notice the version number and processor type (most of my devices were ARMv7 NEON but yours may be different).

2. Go the the MX Player home site and look for the link Custom codec.

Select the link for Codec downloads at the top of the page which will take you to a page at xda-developers.com. Download the version which corresponds to your processor type.

3. Copy the .zip file you downloaded to your device. Open MX Player and then go to Tools -> Settings -> Decoder.

Scroll to the very bottom of the page and select Custom codec. Navigate to the .zip file you just transferred and it will load.

MX Player will restart and you’re good to go!

Credits: phonearena.com: How to restore full audio codec support (AC3, DTS) in MX Player, Android’s best video playback app

Permanently get rid of the annoying “Make Google your homepage” popup box

Here is how to permanently get rid of the annoying box that pops up when visiting Google.com prompting to make Google your homepage. Note this is for users of Firefox.

1. Install the Stylish addon.

2. You should have a little icon for Stylish on your toolbar to the right of the location bar. If you are on www.google.com and you click on it there is an option in the drop-down: “Write new style”. Select to write a new style for www.google.com (you could also select to write on for google.com but be aware that this will affect any other Google sites you use like Gmail for example).

Now you will see a new Stylish tab open where you can edit the style. First, in the text box for Name enter www.google.com. Then, in the editor pane, add the following lines so it looks like this:

@namespace url(http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml);

@-moz-document domain("www.google.com") {

div.gb_ga.gb_g {
display: none !important;
}

}

Now click the Save button and close the tab. You are done. That annoying popup should never happen again. I don’t know what the issue is with Google constantly forcing that stupid box on people. After you’ve clicked no like 20 times you would think they would get the hint.

Final note: You can use Stylish to alter any sites you want. For example you could change the fonts on your favorite news site from sans-serif to serif (which I prefer for reading). If you are creative you can really change the layouts, changing column sizes, removing annoying banners and other elements. Its really cool. Its almost like a video game to use Stylish and zap away all the annoying things you don’t want on sites!

Thinkpad Flaw: Thinklight/keyboard backlight does not remain on

I am classifying this as an actual flaw, because it has been a long-term annoyance and clearly does not make sense from an ergonomic viewpoint:

Many Thinkpad laptops have what is called a Thinklight which is a small but relatively bright light at the top of the bezel of the display which, when on, shines light down towards the keyboard. It is excellent for low-light situations when you need to see the keys (and don’t have a backlit keyboard). Even with a backlit keyboard I still would want this feature, although on the laptops I’ve seen there’s either a Thinklight or a backlit keyboard but not both.

So the issue with the backlit keyboard, which is exactly the same a with the Thinklight, is: When the screen goes blank due to powersave, then the Thinklight or the keyboard backlight turn off. You therefore have to turn them on again.

This is annoying. Think about it: You’re working on your machine and want to see. You enable either the Thinklight or the keyboard backlight because you want it on.

But then, if you happen to temporarily do something else and the screen blanks due to power saving, the light turns off. You do not want it off. You want it on. You do not want to have to keep turning it on over and over again every time the screen blanks due to power saving.

The bottom line is that the Thinklight or keyboard backlight should stay on until it is explicitly turned off by the user. Or else there should be a configuration option which enables the user to set it to either automatically turn off when the screen blanks (default behavior), or else remain on permanently until the user turns it off.

Here is a thread about this at forums.lenovo.com: W540 Backlit keyboard always on. Note that the issue there is marked as “solved” but it is only “solved” in the sense that it was concluded that there is no solution, which doesn’t mean it is solved.

Californians: Change Your Party Affiliation Online

If you want to vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming June Republican Primary election, you have to be registered as a Republican. If you are registered as a Democrat you cannot vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming primary!

You can change your party affiliation online by re-registering at:

http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/

[Note that you do not have to provide an e-mail address nor a phone number if you don’t want to. Personally I don’t want to because voter records are generally considered public and I already get enough spam.]

Be sure to select your party affiliation at the bottom of the page!

Do it! Now!

Revolutionary

What Donald Trump is saying right now is revolutionary. Many younger people have grown up in an America where almost everything has always been made in China.

But not when I grew up. No. Not by a long shot.

When I grew up clothes, shoes, radios, televisions, dishes, cookware, utensils, toys, bedding, hardware, and many, many other things were almost always made in America.

Then suddenly it all changed. The situation now is an extreme, dramatic contrast with before. I also know there is at least one really excellent PBS documentary series about this and it does detail, among other things, how Bill Clinton was a large player in the globalization which is to a large extent responsible for this horrific shit. And don’t forget that Hilary Clinton accepts a large amount of money from China and the many “American” companies that are now owned by the Chinese.

I already wrote about this topic and how revolutionary what Donald Trump is saying on January 7th. In that post I provide links to essays from a German economist excerpted from his book “”World War for Wealth: The Global Grab for Power and Prosperity”.

One significant point that Mr. Steingart – and now Donald Trump also – makes is that China competes unfairly because the vast majority of the people that work in its factories are little more than slaves living in a society which has no social welfare. Given that, they can produce products much more cheaply. But by allowing those products to flood our markets we are undermining our entire social system – something people like Bill and Hilary Clinton – along with basically the entire American oligarchy, is more than happy to do.

We see how our poor country has been methodically gutted and stripped of its wealth and its well-being on so many levels as the costs are not just economic but also relate to infrastructure and the entire framework of our society.

I never thought I would witness a candidate for President of the United States openly speaking about this topic, but here is the revolution.

And I ask everyone to keep in mind: None of this would be even mentioned ever in mainstream American media if it weren’t for Donald Trump. Remember that because its highly significant. Its not just the “rape” that is occurring, it is the strict control over the media – the mind control – that prevents such a topic from even being acknowledged openly much less freely discussed.

Fuck China. Let China crash. And I say kick out the 17,000 corrupt officials who fled the country and are living here, probably owning half our real estate and stealing educational and other opportunities away from American citizens.

Hey T-Mobile/MetroPCS Note4 fans, TEKXodus HYBRID N4 URv7.3 is out

samsung-galaxy-note-4-t-mobile

Just an update for us trltetmo users: TEKXodus HYBRID N4 URv7.3 was released yesterday. Also it seems that a Marshmallow release from T-Mobile is expected soon.

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